I Am Not Makayla
by Jessica Wiseman Lawrence

Susan had known since junior high that her first girl would be Makayla.
When her belly was full of that dream at last she ordered special crib    sheets,pink-stitched “Makayla.”
There was “Makayla” painted above the crib in her little white house.    She wrote a letter to Makayla.

I was born in the barely spring when nothing is green yet.
My grandfather, Jesse, held me — to him, I was a hollowed egg painted    silver.
My grandfather, Jesse, watched me — to him, I was a swift river and a    slow sunrise.
He touched my smooth face and my wrinkled fingers until the
   next dawn —
then later than that, all day.
He bought my first teddy bear from the hospital gift shop,
and died of a massive heart attack three days later.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author’s grandfather as a young man.


Jessica Wiseman Lawrence
studied creative writing at Longwood University. You can find her recent work upcoming or published in the “Where I Live” series by Silver Birch Press, UNTUCKED, Antiphon, and Third Wednesday, along with many others. She lives in rural central Virginia, where she is an office manager by day. Visit her on Facebook and Twitter.